Mortgage Servicers Ask CFPB to Delay Reg F Effective Date For 6 Months

Mortgage bankers don’t think a 60-day delay of the effective date of Regulation F is long enough for mortgage servicers to be ready to comply with the provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s debt collection rule, and are calling on the regulator to delay the rule’s implementation for six months. The request was made in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s comment on the proposal from the CFPB to delay the effective date of Regulation F to January 29, 2022, from November 30 of this year. Along with the comment from the MBA was a comment from more than two dozen consumer organizations, including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, calling on the CFPB to use the 60 days to rewrite the rule entirely.

The CFPB proposed the delay to give companies more time to prepare for the rule because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MBA said in its comment letter that there aren’t many industries that have been as impacted by the pandemic as mortgage servicing. Because they have been dealing with the pandemic, “servicers have not yet had time to properly review and take the needed steps to comply with the final rule’s requirements,” the MBA said in its comment.

By pushing the effective date of the rule six months out — to May 2022 — services would be able to “focus their resources on assisting homeowners through the COVID-19 pandemic and provide the needed time to review and implement the FDCPA final rules.”

Like many of the comments that have been submitted by consumer advocacies, the one that was submitted yesterday by NACA, the Center for Responsible Lending, and other organizations, calls on the CFPB to use the 60-day delay to “significantly strengthen consumer protections” in the rule. This includes lowering the call frequency caps to three per week, require consumers to opt-in to receiving text messages and emails, and prohibiting the collection of time-barred debt.

“While delaying the effective date would also postpone the implementation of some aspects of the rules that would provide greater protection to consumers, we believe that a delay that enables the CFPB to improve the consumer protections will provide long-term benefits to consumers that outweigh the temporary delay,” the groups wrote in their comment.

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